Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reclaimed wood for my reclaimed home!

I love the idea of using reclaimed wood in my house. It brings a sort of down to earth feel to an already vibrant living space, so long as I can keep my other half from cutting it up and using it for his projects. When I am able to keep a piece of wood long enough to decide what to do with it, good things happen... like the project I finished last night. 

I had recently acquired a couple pieces of wood screwed together to look like the top to an old picnic table, only smaller. I knew great things would come of it so I kept it around until I found the perfect saying to paint on it. 

I knew that since it was a weathered piece of wood I wanted to maintain the weathered look. I dry brushed lightly over the wood in a dark brown paint that I had laying around. The dry brushing allowed me to still see the knicks and scratches on the top surface while still providing a rich color that would match my inside decor.

While that paint was drying I printed out the saying I had chosen. When doing this it was important to me to choose a font that was large enough for my wood, while simultaneously conveying the message that the words would deliver. Since I was going to be using an exacto knife to etch the letters into the wood before I painted I also looked for a font that was thick and not too curvy. 

Once the paint was dry I laid out the words and taped them onto the board where I wanted them. Next I (carefully) took an exacto knife and etched each letter into the wood. This was the longest and gruesome part because my hands kept cramping up. But once they were etched it looked great!

I considered leaving the piece with just the etched saying, but after much deliberation decided that it would be too hard to read in my bedroom light. So, I got to painting.

I used a small paint brush  (for crafts) and a sample color that I didn't end up using in my house to complete the task. It took a while to finish because I am such a perfectionist but in the end it was worth it. At the last minute I also remembered that I had a stencil that had never been used that would look great in the corners of the wood.

Now, I've never used a stencil and am not the person to be taking stenciling advice from. However, I will say that I made it work. I was growing impatient and didn't want to have to put another coat on the stenciled corners so I over did it on the paint. Needless to say, the paint got underneath the stencil and the outline got blurry. So I improvised, turned my paint brush upside down and used the point to outline the stencil. This worked to my benefit and I was thrilled!

 Here is the completed project on my wall (sorry the picture quality is so bad!). I used a dot of toothpaste on the back of the wood to mark where I needed to screw it into the wall. Amy's note: This only works when you make sure your artwork is level, otherwise you end up putting a lot of unnecessary holes in your wall. 

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